Andrea Flores, a friend of mine, shared the following story with me and it touched me. Being perfect for the Christmas spirit, it is an honor for me to share it with you. Thank you Andrea for your time, words and heart.
Discharging patients at the hospital is always an interesting task. When I walk into a room with a wheelchair, some patients hop right in and tell me all about the puppy waiting for them at home, while some just end the conversation at “hello.” One morning, when I got to the room, an unhappy lady left the room muttering profanities and informed me that she was going to get the car. She said she’d be waiting for her father downstairs. Red-faced and angry, she stomped her way down the hall. I walked into the room and an elderly man was sitting on the bed. I smiled and asked if he was ready to go, but he nodded no. Concerned, I offered to get a nurse, but he kindly refused.
He apologized for his daughter’s behavior with this look on his face that told me that a simple “It’s okay” was not enough. His daughter has taken care of him since she was a young child. She never goes out because he is always ill and cannot be left alone. After a short pause, he sighed and told me that she had every right to be angry with him. His medical emergency had made her miss a flight to her best friend’s wedding. Then, as if he suddenly remembered that he was making her wait, he got into the wheelchair and told me he was ready.
This gentleman had learned the importance of patience and, in his daughter’s moment of anger, he had chosen to understand her rather than criticize her. This was a moment where I was humbled to see someone behave with complete selflessness. This man did not want me to hate his daughter; he wanted me to understand her just as he had.
Not always, but more often at the hospital than anywhere else, I meet people who have a different outlook on life. I appreciate every opportunity that allows me to see life through their perspective because it is an eye opening experience. As a volunteer, I help make people comfortable and feel welcome, but there are moments when our guests do so much more for me than I could ever do for them. - Andrea Flores